The Official HIT thread

jrock645

jrock645

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Official thread for discussing methodology, philosophy and individual experiences of HIT training protocol ala Arthur Jones, Ellington Darden, Mike Mentzer and Drew Baye.

Compare routines, discuss training volume and frequency and offer insights on specific intensity techniques you employ in your training. Don’t train in the HIT style? Feel free to ask questions.

Not sure how many HIT’ers we have on this board, but I’d love to get a few of us together and compare notes.
 
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jdm23

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Absolutely. Love cardio weight lifting. Last week did a 10x10 workout. Squats at 135 for 10 sets with a .2 mile run between sets, no rest.

Ok alternate this style eod with tradition bodybuilding training on the other days with pyramids, strength sets, etc
 
jrock645

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Absolutely. Love cardio weight lifting. Last week did a 10x10 workout. Squats at 135 for 10 sets with a .2 mile run between sets, no rest.

Ok alternate this style eod with tradition bodybuilding training on the other days with pyramids, strength sets, etc
10 sets of squats sounds nothing like HIT to me, which generally calls for only one set of each exercise, performed to failure.
 
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jdm23

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10 sets of squats sounds nothing like HIT to me, which generally calls for only one set of each exercise, performed to failure.
Ok how about I call it an interval then? The idea is that you work the same motion until muscular fatigue without stopping. While yes it’s 2 exercises they are working the same muscle group so there’s no rest. It’s a HIT/HIIT hybrid.
 
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jtbull

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I am not a total hit guy, but have read mentzer and really a big fan of yates. I do go to failure but do a couple more sets than yates did in his workouts. Seems to work ok for me.
 
jrock645

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Ok how about I call it an interval then? The idea is that you work the same motion until muscular fatigue without stopping. While yes it’s 2 exercises they are working the same muscle group so there’s no rest. It’s a HIT/HIIT hybrid.
It definitely sounds like interval training, which isn’t related really to HIT as outlined in the OP.
 
jrock645

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I am not a total hit guy, but have read mentzer and really a big fan of yates. I do go to failure but do a couple more sets than yates did in his workouts. Seems to work ok for me.
I haven’t read any Yates. How did his approach differ from Mentzer?
 
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It definitely sounds like interval training, which isn’t related really to HIT as outlined in the OP.
Seems to me he is maybe confusing the two?
 
jrock645

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jrock645

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Adjusting my routine a bit for the new year. Sticking with full body routines on Monday and Friday, but removing chest and giving them their own workout on Wednesday’s. Always been a lagging body part that I’ve struggled to develop at all. So my thought would be to set up as follows:

Workout A

Leg extension
Leg press
Calf raise
Lat pull
Arnold press
Bicep curl
Palms up pulldown
Reverse curl

Workout B:

Squat
Abductor
Seated calf raise
Straight arm lat pullover
Machine row
Face pull
Lateral raise
Tricep pressdown
Forearm curl

Chest(Wednesday):

Fly machine(high rep)
Smith press(heavy)
Smith incline(high rep)
Cable crossover
Dips- negative only
Pushups- max


This gives the chest more volume than currently, but less frequency and therefore more time to grow. Also ups the rep ranges on some of these. I’ve been training heavy lately since I’m cutting, but I’ve never felt like I got much gains from training heavy- eventually gained strength but not much muscle development. I’m a prototypical endurance athlete by nature, so I may just not have enough fast twitch fibers to get much benefit from the heavier training. As always, the goal will be to add weight in progressive overload, so the rep ranges can gradually come down so I can gauge where I feel like I do better.

Curious on thoughts from other HIT’ers.
 
HIT4ME

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I haven’t read any Yates. How did his approach differ from Mentzer?
Mentzer heavily influenced Yates' training style. Yates applied it and did his own thing - when they finally met Mentzer suggested Yates do even less work but he didn't follow the advice. Yates often did 2 working sets per exercise.. slightly more volume than mentzer often prescribed but way less than most pro's during the day.

I was watching Palumbo interviewing Yates the other day and they were talking a lot about how when Yates came on the scene and just started dominating, everyone started chasing him and emulating what he was doing and suddenly there were all these guys who were really big. Palumbo feels people forgot about Yates' training style nowadays and they have lost some for it.

Mentzer has heavy influenced my style but so has Yates...and in practice I lean a little toward Yates style. I often do 2 sets per exercise with 2-3 exercises per bodypart.
 
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jtbull

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I haven’t read any Yates. How did his approach differ from Mentzer?
Back around 1996 i read cover to cover his out of print blood and guts book. I think i paid 17.99 for it and now its on ebay and so for like $100 or more and i cant find my copy. Key thing is that with mentzer for say chest you would do incline bench and flys and that would be it. Warm up and one set to failure. With dorian you would also do say decline bench and 2-4 more excercises for a big bodypart like chest and back where biceps would be 3 or 4.
 
HIT4ME

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Adjusting my routine a bit for the new year. Sticking with full body routines on Monday and Friday, but removing chest and giving them their own workout on Wednesday’s. Always been a lagging body part that I’ve struggled to develop at all. So my thought would be to set up as follows:

Workout A

Leg extension
Leg press
Calf raise
Lat pull
Arnold press
Bicep curl
Palms up pulldown
Reverse curl

Workout B:

Squat
Abductor
Seated calf raise
Straight arm lat pullover
Machine row
Face pull
Lateral raise
Tricep pressdown
Forearm curl

Chest(Wednesday):

Fly machine(high rep)
Smith press(heavy)
Smith incline(high rep)
Cable crossover
Dips- negative only
Pushups- max


This gives the chest more volume than currently, but less frequency and therefore more time to grow. Also ups the rep ranges on some of these. I’ve been training heavy lately since I’m cutting, but I’ve never felt like I got much gains from training heavy- eventually gained strength but not much muscle development. I’m a prototypical endurance athlete by nature, so I may just not have enough fast twitch fibers to get much benefit from the heavier training. As always, the goal will be to add weight in progressive overload, so the rep ranges can gradually come down so I can gauge where I feel like I do better.

Curious on thoughts from other HIT’ers.
This setup is more in line with Mentzer's applications with the exception of the chest being broken out. It is worth a shot.

One issue I have with Mentzer is his lack of deadlifts...which I just cannot drop. This may hinder me because I have also recognized that it puts a huge drain on my CNS and I cannot improve on deads without at least a week between bouts. I have even started doing a heavy week where I go all out and then back off the second week with something relatively light for 15 reps before going heavy again on the 3rd week.

I think Mentzer would suggest if you have a lagging bodypart then you need to return to the theory. Step 1 is to stimulate growth - by going 100% to failure. Step 2 is to recover. Step 3 is to grow.

If you KNOW you are completing step 1 and you are not growing, then doing more will not help. The answer is to give MORE time for steps 2 and 3.

In a way, you are giving more time because you are doing 1x per week - but you are also adding a lot of volume that may be unnecessary.
 
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jdm23

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I definitely think so, but don’t feel like arguing about it.
Really? Because you seemed pretty set on arguing. Train however you want dude I could care less. I may not be explaining it properly but the way I train has a strong HIT influence as well as HIIT influence. I’m out
 
HIT4ME

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Absolutely. Love cardio weight lifting. Last week did a 10x10 workout. Squats at 135 for 10 sets with a .2 mile run between sets, no rest.

Ok alternate this style eod with tradition bodybuilding training on the other days with pyramids, strength sets, etc
Really? Because you seemed pretty set on arguing. Train however you want dude I could care less. I may not be explaining it properly but the way I train has a strong HIT influence as well as HIIT influence. I’m out
He wasn't set on arguing. He was just pointing out that what you described doesn't sound like HIT....and the reason it probably didn't sound like HIT to him is that it isn't HIT.

HIT is "High Intensity Training" and it refers to a style of training with weights that is high intensity, low volume, low frequency. Often the proponents of HIT utilize just 1 working set per bodypart in a workout, with people like mentzer recommending a workout every 4th day (about 2x per week). The sheer fact you can do 10 sets of something, by definition, means it is not high intensity.

What you are describing is, at best, High Intensity Interval Training, which is an entirely different style of training....although some of the principles may overlap. But in reality, it sounds more like Crossfit style than anything in the way you describe it.

And that doesn't make it wrong...it just means it isn't high intensity training. Many people will say HIT is wrong. Many of us, like I said of myself above, use the principles but adapt then a little. I do a couple sets. My volume is much lower than most people on this board, but I am not always doing something that is strictly HIT, even though the principles guide me.

HIT style training can be a real eye opener to a lot of people. Most people never grasp the principles. This thread should be good over time. Don't take it personally, train the way you feel is best.
 
jrock645

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This setup is more in line with Mentzer's applications with the exception of the chest being broken out. It is worth a shot.

One issue I have with Mentzer is his lack of deadlifts...which I just cannot drop. This may hinder me because I have also recognized that it puts a huge drain on my CNS and I cannot improve on deads without at least a week between bouts. I have even started doing a heavy week where I go all out and then back off the second week with something relatively light for 15 reps before going heavy again on the 3rd week.

I think Mentzer would suggest if you have a lagging bodypart then you need to return to the theory. Step 1 is to stimulate growth - by going 100% to failure. Step 2 is to recover. Step 3 is to grow.

If you KNOW you are completing step 1 and you are not growing, then doing more will not help. The answer is to give MORE time for steps 2 and 3.

In a way, you are giving more time because you are doing 1x per week - but you are also adding a lot of volume that may be unnecessary.
Its not really a LOT of volume that im adding. I currently do 3 chest exercises plus dips between my A and B workouts.

Its is more volume but im aiming that more at trying to get more reps in to try and develop the MMC. I get DOMS in my chest after workouts but rarely fewl the muscle working the way i can any other. That could be why im lagging.
 
BarryScott

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I tried HIT, didn't work for me, wish it did. Compete opposite for me, high frequency has always worked best, and basically keeping volume as high (in terms of tonnage, not just cranking out junk volume) as possible before recovery becomes impaired.

Whatever jdm23 is describing sounds nothing like HIT to me.
 
jrock645

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I tried HIT, didn't work for me, wish it did. Compete opposite for me, high frequency has always worked best, and basically keeping volume as high (in terms of tonnage, not just cranking out junk volume) as possible before recovery becomes impaired.

Whatever jdm23 is describing sounds nothing like HIT to me.
Cause it isn’t.
 
BarryScott

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Sounded like a waste of time in general, frankly. 135lbs squats? Might as well skip the gym and get your leg workout carrying some old lady's groceries.
 
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He wasn't set on arguing. He was just pointing out that what you described doesn't sound like HIT....and the reason it probably didn't sound like HIT to him is that it isn't HIT.

HIT is "High Intensity Training" and it refers to a style of training with weights that is high intensity, low volume, low frequency. Often the proponents of HIT utilize just 1 working set per bodypart in a workout, with people like mentzer recommending a workout every 4th day (about 2x per week). The sheer fact you can do 10 sets of something, by definition, means it is not high intensity.

What you are describing is, at best, High Intensity Interval Training, which is an entirely different style of training....although some of the principles may overlap. But in reality, it sounds more like Crossfit style than anything in the way you describe it.

And that doesn't make it wrong...it just means it isn't high intensity training. Many people will say HIT is wrong. Many of us, like I said of myself above, use the principles but adapt then a little. I do a couple sets. My volume is much lower than most people on this board, but I am not always doing something that is strictly HIT, even though the principles guide me.

HIT style training can be a real eye opener to a lot of people. Most people never grasp the principles. This thread should be good over time. Don't take it personally, train the way you feel is best.
What he’s describing is German Volume Training
 
jrock645

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Talking with another HIT’er on another(not fitness related) board I frequent, I might adjust a couple things to the above routine. Do leg press 1st, in front of the extensions and don’t ore exhaust. Eliminate calf raise on workout B in favor of a ha string movement, most likely seated leg curls. And drop the opening chest fly and make it a chest fly OR cable cross after the presses.

Would allow me to stress the heavy movements and not be pre exhausted, both in the case of legs and chest.
 
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Whisky

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What he’s describing is German Volume Training

What he’s describing is German Volume Training
Not really, GVT wouldn’t have a run inbetween......

He was describing a endurance conditioning type finisher imo. To me squatting then straight into running then straight into squatting etc isn’t actually hiit (assuming the run is a run and not a recovery type jog).

To use similar exercises but make it hiit Id do a heavyish set of 6 front squats then rack the bar, jump on a bike and max effort cycle for 10s, rest 45s-60s and repeat for 6 rounds
 
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Talking with another HIT’er on another(not fitness related) board I frequent, I might adjust a couple things to the above routine. Do leg press 1st, in front of the extensions and don’t ore exhaust. Eliminate calf raise on workout B in favor of a ha string movement, most likely seated leg curls. And drop the opening chest fly and make it a chest fly OR cable cross after the presses.

Would allow me to stress the heavy movements and not be pre exhausted, both in the case of legs and chest.

In relation to this thread are we assuming on or off cycle training? As we all know what’s optimal on cycle most likely isn’t and vica versa. Imo HIT works on cycle but off (or for nattys) it wouldn’t be optimal in most cases
 
jrock645

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In relation to this thread are we assuming on or off cycle training? As we all know what’s optimal on cycle most likely isn’t and vica versa. Imo HIT works on cycle but off (or for nattys) it wouldn’t be optimal in most cases
That gets debatable depending on who you ask. Somebody around here the other day was talking about this very thing, and basically said if it stimulates growth on cycle theres no reason it shouldnt off cycle- though obviously results are never as dramatic off.

Curious on your thoughts about why HIT would work on cycle but not off.
 
HIT4ME

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In relation to this thread are we assuming on or off cycle training? As we all know what’s optimal on cycle most likely isn’t and vica versa. Imo HIT works on cycle but off (or for nattys) it wouldn’t be optimal in most cases
I disagree strongly with this. Being on cycle really improves recovery times, stimulus responses, etc. It allows you to increase both volume and frequency and still improve between workouts.

If someone who is natural is using a sufficient load to stimulate a response, they better be using less volume and lower frequency - unless you are saying people recover better when NOT on gear?
 
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I disagree strongly with this. Being on cycle really improves recovery times, stimulus responses, etc. It allows you to increase both volume and frequency and still improve between workouts.

If someone who is natural is using a sufficient load to stimulate a response, they better be using less volume and lower frequency - unless you are saying people recover better when NOT on gear?
Ok, valid points (and I agree completely that being on cycle allows you to recover way quicker)........however, with what we know about the impact of aas and protein synthesis plus the frequency of training needed to elicit a maximal natural anabolic response to resistance training I personally don’t think for many that a 3 day a week program can be optimal (of course if you look at mentzer who I believe was more a full body 3x a week proponent as opposed to Yates who was a 1-2 body parts a session guy then the situation is better with 3x full body a week but I still don’t believe optimal). We know natural lifters need to hit a muscle with more frequency than those who are enhanced, and whilst you are right in that recovery is important, I’d suggest that for those on cycle the ‘recovery’ doesn’t need to be as long but that doesn’t mean that time isn’t spent growing, being able to train with greater frequency doesn’t mean that actually training with more frequency is optimal.

Most of the big boys used to train 3-4 days a week and they were on cycle more often than not. Most coaches I’ve read suggest 5 or 6 days for natural lifters.

Massive caveat to the above though, this is hugely individual. Ones ability to recover varies hugely in my experience. A good lifter will try a variety of programs and establish what works best for them. Just from my experience most nattys benefit from greater frequency despite less ability to recover than someone on cycle who trains less but will grow more through increased protein synthesis.

Of course there’s the question of whether a lifter has the ability to actually do a set to all out failure (or beyond a la Yates) - that’s not a given for many but is a whole other topic.
 
BarryScott

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Can any of you point me in the direction of a modern HIT routine for a natural/semi-natty lifter?
 
HIT4ME

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Ok, valid points (and I agree completely that being on cycle allows you to recover way quicker)........however, with what we know about the impact of aas and protein synthesis plus the frequency of training needed to elicit a maximal natural anabolic response to resistance training I personally don’t think for many that a 3 day a week program can be optimal (of course if you look at mentzer who I believe was more a full body 3x a week proponent as opposed to Yates who was a 1-2 body parts a session guy then the situation is better with 3x full body a week but I still don’t believe optimal). We know natural lifters need to hit a muscle with more frequency than those who are enhanced, and whilst you are right in that recovery is important, I’d suggest that for those on cycle the ‘recovery’ doesn’t need to be as long but that doesn’t mean that time isn’t spent growing, being able to train with greater frequency doesn’t mean that actually training with more frequency is optimal.

Most of the big boys used to train 3-4 days a week and they were on cycle more often than not. Most coaches I’ve read suggest 5 or 6 days for natural lifters.

Massive caveat to the above though, this is hugely individual. Ones ability to recover varies hugely in my experience. A good lifter will try a variety of programs and establish what works best for them. Just from my experience most nattys benefit from greater frequency despite less ability to recover than someone on cycle who trains less but will grow more through increased protein synthesis.

Of course there’s the question of whether a lifter has the ability to actually do a set to all out failure (or beyond a la Yates) - that’s not a given for many but is a whole other topic.
Valid points as well, and I agree that most people do see benefits in the manner you are suggesting...but...


I truly, truly believe thile bolded portion is the key here. It isn't that natural lifters benefit from more frequency - it is that most lifters benefit from more volume and frequency because they are not truly using 100% intensity. It is kind of cheating by doing more to make up for a lack of effort. This is not a knock either...I find myself doing this myself. Sometimes I would just rather do 3 sets than leave it all on the table in 1 set. Sometimes I just give up too soon.

Mentzer actually recommended a split with lifters starting of training 1x every 4 days...you would train your entire body about 1x every 2 weeks. This was the starting point.

The premise, which just about everyone seems to overlook - but once you fully accept it it is like a switch going off - is that you train for ONE reason. The only reason you train today is to be better the next time. You need to stimulate a response that leads to super compensation when you train, and if you have done this, then you should be stronger in the next workout.

And the process is to stimulate ---> recover ---> grow (super compensate/adapt)

Ine key to note here - it isn't recover AND grow. It is recover THEN grow. They are two separate steps and you cannot perform step 2 (recover) until you have created a need for recovery in step 1, and you cannot perform step 3 (grow) until AFTER you have fully recovered.

And if you KNOW you have stimulated a response by training to 100% failure - and you come back next time and you are not stronger, then this can ONLY mean one thing. You are training too frequently...you have not finished steps 2 and 3. Maybe you have not even started step 3.

Now, this assumes that 100% intensity is the signal for growth (you have pushed the muscle to its absolute limit), and while this is logical it may not be necessary and doesn't appear to be. Volume can also trigger this response/adaptation. And if you are training with less than 100% intensity and not driving yourself into the ground, you may be making a trade off where you are stimulating a much smaller response, but also recovering sooner and allowing for growth in less time...which would mean frequency can and should be modulated up. In other words, you can make smaller gains in less time so making those gains as often as possible is ideal. (This is also true of high intensity - making bigger gains as often as possible would be ideal, but recovery/growth requires more time).

Mentzer's point was, start with 1 set and with very little frequency and all put intensity - this way, you can always add volume/frequency if needed because you are starting at the bare minimum prescription...but if you start at 10 sets 3x per week and don't see gains, where do you go? Do you need to do more or less volume? More or less intensity? More or less frequency?
 
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Valid points as well, and I agree that most people do see benefits in the manner you are suggesting...but...


I truly, truly believe thile bolded portion is the key here. It isn't that natural lifters benefit from more frequency - it is that most lifters benefit from more volume and frequency because they are not truly using 100% intensity. It is kind of cheating by doing more to make up for a lack of effort. This is not a knock either...I find myself doing this myself. Sometimes I would just rather do 3 sets than leave it all on the table in 1 set. Sometimes I just give up too soon.

Mentzer actually recommended a split with lifters starting of training 1x every 4 days...you would train your entire body about 1x every 2 weeks. This was the starting point.

The premise, which just about everyone seems to overlook - but once you fully accept it it is like a switch going off - is that you train for ONE reason. The only reason you train today is to be better the next time. You need to stimulate a response that leads to super compensation when you train, and if you have done this, then you should be stronger in the next workout.

And the process is to stimulate ---> recover ---> grow (super compensate/adapt)

Ine key to note here - it isn't recover AND grow. It is recover THEN grow. They are two separate steps and you cannot perform step 2 (recover) until you have created a need for recovery in step 1, and you cannot perform step 3 (grow) until AFTER you have fully recovered.

And if you KNOW you have stimulated a response by training to 100% failure - and you come back next time and you are not stronger, then this can ONLY mean one thing. You are training too frequently...you have not finished steps 2 and 3. Maybe you have not even started step 3.

Now, this assumes that 100% intensity is the signal for growth (you have pushed the muscle to its absolute limit), and while this is logical it may not be necessary and doesn't appear to be. Volume can also trigger this response/adaptation. And if you are training with less than 100% intensity and not driving yourself into the ground, you may be making a trade off where you are stimulating a much smaller response, but also recovering sooner and allowing for growth in less time...which would mean frequency can and should be modulated up. In other words, you can make smaller gains in less time so making those gains as often as possible is ideal. (This is also true of high intensity - making bigger gains as often as possible would be ideal, but recovery/growth requires more time).

Mentzer's point was, start with 1 set and with very little frequency and all put intensity - this way, you can always add volume/frequency if needed because you are starting at the bare minimum prescription...but if you start at 10 sets 3x per week and don't see gains, where do you go? Do you need to do more or less volume? More or less intensity? More or less frequency?
Ok, genuine question (I need to work this through and check some stuff myself but figured you may already have some idea) - if we come back to the question of on/off cycle impact, would one set at 100% intensity elicit growth (I agree with your two stage process) for a duration past 36 hours when the anabolic response/increased protein synthesis drops (I know there is a different views on the timeframe but 36 hours has been shown in several studies as virtually back to baseline in trained individuals) for a natural lifter?

My thinking is it would elicit a greater adaptation within that time frame but nothing additional afterwards, thus the additional benefit within 36 hours has to outweigh the culmination of several bouts of training, recover, grow to be optimal.

In an enhanced lifter that window is significantly longer and more effective, thus one set at 100% intensity is all that is needed.
 
HIT4ME

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Ok, genuine question (I need to work this through and check some stuff myself but figured you may already have some idea) - if we come back to the question of on/off cycle impact, would one set at 100% intensity elicit growth (I agree with your two stage process) for a duration past 36 hours when the anabolic response/increased protein synthesis drops (I know there is a different views on the timeframe but 36 hours has been shown in several studies as virtually back to baseline in trained individuals) for a natural lifter?

My thinking is it would elicit a greater adaptation within that time frame but nothing additional afterwards, thus the additional benefit within 36 hours has to outweigh the culmination of several bouts of training, recover, grow to be optimal.

In an enhanced lifter that window is significantly longer and more effective, thus one set at 100% intensity is all that is needed.
That is an interesting question. I actually just wrote an entire post about some thoughts on this...but it is such an interesting question I am not really sure.

I will say I think we put too much emphasis on windows and elevated MPS, etc. It is more about cumulative effects than spikes perhaps?

I also know that many people have had the experience of taking 2+ weeks off of training and go back with the expectation that they will have to build up again, only to find that are actually much stronger. Not sure this proves much, but worth considering.

I like the angle you are taking on gear extending the window - I need to ponder it. Again, leaning on Mentzer, he stated that stimulating muscle growth was like an on/off switch. This is contrary to how I have viewed working out, and I think how most view it.

We think - if doing 3 sets will stimulate 4 grams of growth, then 6 will stimulate 8 grams! I am not saying precisely, but deep down this is the type of thinking or feeling I have caught myself having and seen in others when working out.

Mentzer's point was, if you subject your body to a load that triggers adaptation, then you have flipped the switch "on" and you are done. Doing twice the sets does not stimulate twice the growth. Just like switching a light switch on and off and on and off doesn't make the light any brighter.

With this in mind - steroids do appear to increase the adaptive response, and with your angle, maybe they can do very little and get much more. But I guess we would all agree on this...Steroids will allow you to grow more with less work. They will also help you grow more in spite of additional work.

Maybe it is more of a case of people looking at the wrong end of the equation? Maybe it is not that HIT works with steroids. Maybe it is that EVEN with steroids, our tolerance for truly intense exercise and ability to adapt to it is more limited than we think?

Sorry if I am rambling with this post...you have me thinking out loud...I don't have a coherant answer.
 
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That is an interesting question. I actually just wrote an entire post about some thoughts on this...but it is such an interesting question I am not really sure.

I will say I think we put too much emphasis on windows and elevated MPS, etc. It is more about cumulative effects than spikes perhaps?

I also know that many people have had the experience of taking 2+ weeks off of training and go back with the expectation that they will have to build up again, only to find that are actually much stronger. Not sure this proves much, but worth considering.

I like the angle you are taking on gear extending the window - I need to ponder it. Again, leaning on Mentzer, he stated that stimulating muscle growth was like an on/off switch. This is contrary to how I have viewed working out, and I think how most view it.

We think - if doing 3 sets will stimulate 4 grams of growth, then 6 will stimulate 8 grams! I am not saying precisely, but deep down this is the type of thinking or feeling I have caught myself having and seen in others when working out.

Mentzer's point was, if you subject your body to a load that triggers adaptation, then you have flipped the switch "on" and you are done. Doing twice the sets does not stimulate twice the growth. Just like switching a light switch on and off and on and off doesn't make the light any brighter.

With this in mind - steroids do appear to increase the adaptive response, and with your angle, maybe they can do very little and get much more. But I guess we would all agree on this...Steroids will allow you to grow more with less work. They will also help you grow more in spite of additional work.

Maybe it is more of a case of people looking at the wrong end of the equation? Maybe it is not that HIT works with steroids. Maybe it is that EVEN with steroids, our tolerance for truly intense exercise and ability to adapt to it is more limited than we think?

Sorry if I am rambling with this post...you have me thinking out loud...I don't have a coherant answer.
It’s interesting.

I agree that steroids allow you to grow from less work whilst also negating the negative impact of too much training (especially via cortisol control).

I guess I view the adaptation as more of a dimmer switch, as in you could work a muscle a little and create a smaller response or a moderate amount to create a moderate response or you can take it to a point where it can elicit the maximum response (obviously assuming the presence of appropriate nutrients). Once you hit that maximal point then more work has no additional benefit.....

So, in theory you could turn the dimmer fully on with one balls out set or multiple sets of lower intensity (which would explain why both methods work).

Just in context of this thread I was trying to dig out some of the studies I’ve seen around the increase in protein synthesis (both timeframe and rate) as that would start to add some rationale behind whether it was optimal. Was short on time but the article below summerises the points, just doesn’t link any evidence rather annoyingly..

https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/tip-natural-lifters-and-protein-synthesis
 
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jtbull

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I have heard talk of natural lifters needed to lift more often. For most of my time in the iron game i was natural and to an extent still am as all i take is clomid for hormone replacement ( I will be starting test the clomid was because we were trying to have a baby) and I have gotten results from 3 or 4 day per week workouts training each muscle group once. Maybe i am unique, but it seems to work well. I was actually debating if i need to change my training once i am on test. Also i was wondering guys any interest in guys posting ideas of sample workouts they do here for critique?
 
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I have heard talk of natural lifters needed to lift more often. For most of my time in the iron game i was natural and to an extent still am as all i take is clomid for hormone replacement ( I will be starting test the clomid was because we were trying to have a baby) and I have gotten results from 3 or 4 day per week workouts training each muscle group once. Maybe i am unique, but it seems to work well. I was actually debating if i need to change my training once i am on test. Also i was wondering guys any interest in guys posting ideas of sample workouts they do here for critique?
For sure there is no ‘one size fits all’ with any of this, way too many variables. Really where I’m coming from is what’s optimal (Progress can be made on nearly any program but optimal progress maybe not) and what’s likely optimal for ‘most’.

But yeah, there will always be outliers for sure.

Lots of people post up routines bro, go for it. You get good food for thought
 
jrock645

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For me, I do best doing two full body lifting sessions per week and a bit of cardio. 3 full body sessions is too much for me, I get worn down two quick. Always felt like I did best on full body routines. Just gotta be careful with the cardio. Some is good but easy to go overboard and work into overtraining.

Interesting part is I’m an endurance athlete by nature, but can overtrain extremely easily. Was a distance runner in high school, ran half marathons and such but could never sustain higher than about 32 miles a week- which is nothing for distance running, especially when my long run every week was 10 miles or more.

According to Drew Baye, people like me are supposed to recover quickly from exercise and be able to sustain a higher training volume, but I’ve always struggled bigtime with it. Guess I’m a real oddball.


One note to make about the 1 set vs 3 that often gets missed. With the rep cadence and emphasis on time under tension, you’re actually doing a comparable amount of more actual work in one set than you would be in 3 in conventional methodology. All sets aren’t created equal.
 
Old Witch

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The differences noted between the two ideas in OP and first reply are the differences between HIT and HIIT. The latter of which is considered a form of cardio, and is also part of that CrossFit crap people do. I think. I don’t pay much attention to cucky training plans. Like Tae Bo. No idea what that **** was.

Anyway, I employ more of the method Dorian used by himself (pyramid weight up to one all out set to failure, 5 work sets total per exercise) and less what was done by mentzer (one all out set per exercise)

The only cardio aspect to HIT is that you want to rest under 90 seconds between every set no matter what.
 
Old Witch

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Personally, I find I can do four full body HIT routines per week, one cardio day with an ab feeder workout (could call it PT for back), feeder workouts for arms, shoulders, chest and back nightly, and one forearm day (long arms need this I swear to you) without overtraining.
 
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Personally, I find I can do four full body HIT routines per week, one cardio day with an ab feeder workout (could call it PT for back), feeder workouts for arms, shoulders, chest and back nightly, and one forearm day (long arms need this I swear to you) without overtraining.
Long arms are the worst......apart from for deads, then I like them. Rest of the time they sadden me lol
 
jrock645

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Yes, having long arms sucks bigtime.
 
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I might try the 90 seconds. I have been doing 1 minute most times
 
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I might try the 90 seconds. I have been doing 1 minute most times
I actually never time my rests. Whatever time it takes me to move to the next apparatus and set the weight is my rest.
 
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I recall that way back when ( over 20 years ago) it seemed much of conventional wisdom was 30 seconds between sets and a minute between exercises , but then again 4 sets per exercise and 4-5 exercises for bodypart was also common
 
Old Witch

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Well, for Vince gironda that was true definitely, but his idea of intensity was more like how condensed a routine could get. So he invented 10x10, 8x8 etc and his own style of supersets and only 15-30 seconds rest no matter if between set or exercise and no more than 45 minutes, aimed for 4 exercises per routine.
 
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How I thought you were supposed to train was how Arnold trained as outlined in his Muscle & Fitness articles from the 70s. Full body push pull split six days a week with around a dozen sets per exercise and tree to five exercise per muscle group.

Did I mention it was the most grueling thing ever imagined. This man is Satan.

“But the pec isn’t going to expect to do twenty sets of heavy bench press followed by heavy flyes, incline dumbbell press, and pullovers. So when you’re done the muscle is screaming. It’s twitching and shaking because it’s been tortured. And you have now shocked the muscle.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger
 
Old Witch

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So coming up soon I am going to be doing something like an HIT version of GVT with progressive overload and all compound movement sets to failure. See if that does what I expect.
 
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Can you guys give a program outline on what is being discussed?
I am trying to put together something similar as I wrote in my last thread in this section but I'm not sure where to start.
 
jrock645

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Can you guys give a program outline on what is being discussed?
I am trying to put together something similar as I wrote in my last thread in this section but I'm not sure where to start.
Options vary on programming. You can do full body or a split routine. Generally, it’s one set per exercise performed to failure, though, as guys said above some people do 2 sets.

It’s more a methodology than an exact program. Key aspects are:
1. Exercises are performed to failure, meaning you get to the point you can’t budge the weight even with a gun to your head.
2. Rep cadence is very slow, generally 4 up/4 down, and holding the contraction for a second or two. This eliminates momentum and puts emphasis on time under tension rather than number of reps.
3. Workouts are brief and infrequent. Generally 2-3 workouts per week, with workouts maxing at 40 minutes- many times less.
4. The goal with the workout is to stimulate growth then give time for recovery and growth. If you’re not consistently beating the log book, something is wrong

There’s more info on the Baye blog, Ellington darden’s website, or you can find YouTube videos from those guys along with Mentzer and Marcus Reinhardt on YouTube.
 
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Old Witch

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Options vary on programming. You can do full body or a split routine. Generally, it’s one set per exercise performed to failure, though, as guys said above some people do 2 sets.

It’s more a methodology than an exact program. Key aspects are:
1. Exercises are performed to failure, meaning you get to the point you can’t budge the weight even with a gun to your head.
2. Rep cadence is very slow, generally 4 up/4 down, and holding the contraction for a second or two. This eliminates momentum and puts emphasis on time under tension rather than number of reps.
3. Workouts are brief and infrequent. Generally 2-3 workouts per week, with workouts maxing at 40 minutes- many times less.
4. The goal with the workout is to stimulate growth then give time for recovery and growth. If you’re not consistently beating the log book, something is wrong

There’s more info on the Baye blog, Ellington darden’s website, or you can find YouTube videos from those guys along with Mentzer and Marcus Reinhardt on YouTube.
This.

Personally I have more of a Yates approach where I do a couple of pump up sets before I do the big one. Then I take a slightly more old school approach and ADD MORE WEIGHT and try to hit one or two reps.

Now, I’m trying to do something insane, and repeat the failure set ten times over with decreasing weights. We will see how it works.
 
muscleupcrohn

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I’ve mostly done ramping warm up sets for the first/main exercise, building to 1-2 “real” sets to failure. Like for DB incline I’d warm up with 25s,50s,70s, then maybe 80s, and do a real set with 90-100s, then another real set with probably 5-10lbs more than the last set for a few less reps.
 
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Do you guys go to failure all the time or just some of the years? I usually do failure for 6-8 weeks then the next 6-8 weeks ill leave one in the tank or go to positive failure ( last rep i can complete). I might start varying that workout to workout.
 
jrock645

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Always failure, or as close as i can come that day.
 

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